St. Mildgyth of Minster


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Commemorated January 17

St. Mildgyth was the youngest and least famous of the three daughters of Merewald, King of Mercia (a kingdom in Anglo-Saxon England), and Ermenburga, Princess of Kent, in the second century. She was also the sister of Sts. Mildred and Milburga.

St. Mildgyth embraced the religious life, as had her sisters, and for a time was a nun at Eastry Monastery. However, she joined St. Mildred later in the flourishing community at Minster and succeeded her as abbess at S. Mildred’s death. Eventually the community grew to such a size that it became necessary to build a larger complex. The new monastery was built only a few hundred yards from the old one.

Like most Christian churches on the coast, Minster suffered from pillaging by raiders from the sea, and in 1035, the invading King of the Danes agreed that St. Mildred’s and St. Mildgyth’s remains should be moved to Canterbury where they were enshrined in the abbey of SS Peter and Paul. There is however another tradition that relics were taken to the abbey at Lyminge and from there translated by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Collegiate church of St Gregory which he built by the Northgate at Canterbury.

The building in the abbey at Minster eventually passed into secular hands, and the church was demolished. In 1937 a small group of Benedictine nuns from St. Walburga’s Abbey at Eichstadt occupied the remains of the old abbey, and relics of St. Mildgyth and St. Mildred are preserved in the altar of their small chapel.

With permission of www.orthodoxwiki.org